Friday, July 29, 2011

UW Art Museum receives "Museums for America" grant from the IMLS

The University of Wyoming Art Museum is the recipient of a $74,875 Museums for America grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) to help continue the "Collection Advancement Digitization Project."
Museums for America, the IMLS' largest grant, supports projects that build museums' capacity to serve its communities. This year, IMLS received 481 applications and will fund 160 projects.
The UW Art Museum will use the grant to digitally photograph its identified core collection of 6,628 objects. It also allows for the museum's collection to be integrated into the UW online search engine, which will provide increased curatorial and research opportunities, as well as professional high-resolution images for publication.
The Art Museum and Academic Affairs will each contribute additional funds to the project.
"We are excited to receive IMLS funds that will enable us to make our collections accessible to all," says Susan Moldenhauer, UW Art Museum director and chief curator. "This has been a long-term goal for the museum. Four years ago, IMLS assisted us with a complete content and valuation assessment of our collection. One result was identifying our core collection. Now we will be able to digitize the museum's most important objects."
For more information, call Nicole Crawford, curator of collections, at (307) 766-6529 or . Questions for the Institute of Museum and Library Services can be directed to Kevin O'Connell, Congressional Affairs Officer, at (202) 653-4628 or .
For additional information about the UW Art Museum, call (307) 766-6622 or visit the museum's webpage or blog at .
"Imagine learning from the masters" is a guiding principle of the UW Art Museum's programs.  The museum is located in the Centennial Complex at 2111 Willett Dr. in Laramie.  The museum and The Museum Store are open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Saturday.  Admission is free.

Lively weekend for art & music at Big West Fest in Sheridan

Jeff Troxel
The Big West Arts Festival celebrates its sixth year Aug. 6-7 as a large cultural event on the front lawn of the Sheridan College campus in Sheridan.

The music line-up includes the Teka Brock Band, Greenhorse, Jeff Troxel & Trevor Krieger, Gary Small & the Coyote Brothers, J Shogren and many others. 

Sheridan College is sponsoring and hosting the festival on its beautiful campus. Northwest Community College District (NWCCD) is one of the seven community colleges in Wyoming that includes Sheridan College and Gillette College. Sheridan College is known for its strong academics, arts, and variety of technical programs. For more information about Sheridan College, visit

Sheridan is also an ideal travel base, offering fine dining and quality accommodations with over 1,100 rooms available. For demographics, cultural activities and services, call the Sheridan Chamber of Commerce at (800) 453-3650, or visit

Tim Bruns in concert Aug. 3 at UW

Denver musician Tim Bruns will perform a free concert from 11:45 a.m.-1 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 3, at the University of Wyoming Simpson Plaza.
"Songs in Recovery," his newest solo album, is a five-song recording with an alternative-country vibe. Bruns injured his knee and decided to write music during his recovery time.
"Unable to work my job at Starbucks for awhile, I decided the best use of my time was to make music. These five songs are what I have to show for my time off," says Bruns.
Bruns is also the frontman for the band Churchill, which Westword Magazine lists as one of its "Movers and Shakers" in 2009.
For more information and music, visit Bruns' website at .
The concert series is sponsored by the Campus Activities Center Summer Programs. Individuals needing assistance to attend this event can contact the CAC at 766-6340.

LCCC offers courses for artist-entrepreneurs

Glamorous or demonic: Aug. 4 BBHC lecture focuses on firearms in the arts

From a BBHC press release:

"In both westerns and western (classical) theatre, firearms have been used in various, powerful ways,” says Ashley Lynn Hlebinsky. “While many die in westerns from gunfire, audiences respond to those deaths with excitement. Yet, when a trigger is pulled on stage, the audience’s emotional response is different, marked by reflection and silence.”

On Thursday, August 4, 2 p.m. at the Buffalo Bill Historical Center’s Coe Auditorium, Hlebinsky shares her work related to Westerns and Western (Classical) Theatre: The Glamorization and Demonization of Firearms in the Arts. Her talk is free with admission.

Hlebinsky’s investigation focuses on the dissonance between the effects firearms have on theatre audiences versus those watching western film. “Through my research, I hope to understand the reasons why audiences, depending on the situation and the medium, can be swayed to feel a certain way about a controversial object like a firearm,” she explains. “My initial findings show that firearms are perpetuated as symbols of tragedy in classical theatre. Western films, however, have broken that negative mold for firearms—often symbolizing American folk heroism. I believe the nostalgia of the western frontier has allowed for the glamorization of firearms.”

As both an intern with Warren Newman, the Center’s firearms curator, and a research associate in the Center’s collections, Hlebinsky has been studying the Hollywood gun exhibit and visitors’ reactions to it, as well as working in the McCracken Research Library to gather information about the firearms facet of Buffalo Bill’s Wild West.

“If you’ve ever sat in a theatre and felt moved by death at the hand of a gun, or if you’ve watched a western and felt the thrill of the battle, then my research applies to you,” Hlebinsky adds. “My research on these guns, objects that are both hated and beloved by audiences, will seek to explain how an inanimate object holds so much power at the hands of a theatre or film director.”

Hlebinsky is currently an assistant to the firearms curator at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History and is working toward a master’s `degree in history and museum studies from the University of Delaware. She hopes to pursue a career as a museum professional and research antique firearms.

Learn more about the Center’s firearm collection at

Committed to connecting people with the Spirit of the American West, the Buffalo Bill Historical Center weaves the varied threads of the western experience—history and myth, art and Native culture, firearms technology and the nature of Yellowstone—into the rich panorama that is the American West. The Center, an Affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, is now operating its summer schedule, open daily, 8 a.m. – 6 p.m. For general information, visit www.bbhc.orgor call 307.587.4771.

Photo caption: Ashley Hlebinsky researches the representation of firearms in theatre and western film, such as Marshall of Cedar Rock, 1952.

Job announcement: Wyoming State Museum

The Wyoming State Museum in Cheyenne is currently advertising for a Curator of Education. You may view the actual announcement and/or apply at

Wyoming Public Radio offers highlights of Grand Teton Music Festival's 50th season

Wyoming Public Radio announces that highlights from the 50th Anniversary season of the Grand Teton Music Festival will air Thursday nights at 8 p.m. on WPR and Classical Wyoming through September 10. Programs repeat Saturday afternoons at 4 p.m. on Classical Wyoming. Click here for a Grand Teton Music Festival broadcast schedule. 

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Art & music & great food this Saturday in Lander

Corridor Gallery presents Wiyos, Tin Horn Prayer and Dang Ol' Boys at Wolcott Galleria

Continuing to pursue all variations of art, "The Corridor Presents" is excited to announce its second live show at the Wolcott Galleria Theatre located in downtown Casper. If you were at the Jalan Crossland/Dang Ol' Boys show last fall, you know how great the classic venue is. Coming up on Friday, August 26th, the Wiyos are coming from New York City and have been excited to get back to Wyoming after playing Wednesday Night Live last year to a packed crowd. Their old time variety mixed with hints of bluegrass is incredibly entertaining. Tin Horn Prayer is coming up from Denver to spill out some of the best sounds I've heard this year. Tin Horn Prayer plays an aggressive bluegrass set with a hint of Irish influence. Casper's Dang Ol' Boys  complete an evening of incredible music and great fun with their always energetic sets. The Dang Ol’ Boys are an 8 piece band native to Casper and their full, bluegrass/punk-rock sound has gathered thousands of fans.

Location: Wolcott Galleria Theatre 136 S. Wolcott, 2nd Floor, Casper

Doors Open: 6:30PM

Catering: A cash bar will be open (ID checked at door)

Tickets Available At: the Corridor, Sonic Rainbow, Wind City Books, Gallaways and Fields Creek 104.

General Admission: General $12, Balcony: $16

Call 307-333-7035 or email with any questions.

The fine art of ski & snowboard flicks

Teton Gravity Research in Jackson is the country's premier action-sports entertainment company. It sent out a call for entries to submit videos for a chance to film with TGR during the 2011/2012 season and have an edit of your video shown as a preview before TGR's world movie tour that kicks off in September 2011 with over 200 showings.

The grand prize and first place winner in the ski category was filmed by Jackson Tisi, Daniel Tisi, Rob Lapier and Trevor Hiatt. Daniel Tisi's 2010/2011 ski year is wrapped up into a 3-minute edit. He is 12 Years old! Filmed in Sun Valley, Park City, Copper Mountain and hometown Jackson Hole. Special Thanks to Jackson Hole Mountain Resort and all of the anomaly team coaches including Weez, Rob LaPier, Ryan Halverson, and Trever Hiatt. Filmed and edited by Jackson Tisi. Two Five Productions.

Ron Franscell and books tour Wyoming in October

Wyoming native Ron Franscell is bringing his book tour to Wyoming. For details, go to

Elvis on Main Street Friday in Rawlins

Rawlins DDA/Main Street and the Carbon County School District #1 Rec Board are proud to present Downtown Moonlight Movies, a outdoor movie series with two remaining movies for 2011!

Our remaining movies are: 
Jailhouse Rock - July 29
Happy Gilmore - September 23

Movies will begin at dark, about 9:30 p.m. Come down early at 9 p.m. for the costume contest. Dress to the theme of the movie to win Main Street Money, gift certificates good at over 15 downtown businesses.

Vendors selling food, drink, glow-in-the dark items and popcorn will be present.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

America's best air guitarist comes from Casper

And now for something completely different:

The best air guitarist in the U.S.A. is from Casper. Justin Howard won the U.S. Air Guitar Championship Saturday in Chicago. Lest you think that air guitaring is a lower art form, check out Justin's performance via this Casper-Star Trib article

Call for entries: "As it turns out, I'm from ____________"

Call for entries from the Lander Art Center:

At a conference where an artist once spoke about her work in detail, the audience laughed out loud when halfway through she said, "As it turns out, I'm from Pittsburgh." After learning so much about her artwork it seemed perfectly fitting that her large steel sculptures would be influenced by this historically industrial city.

Many of us make an exodus at some point in our lives-- to seek out a life of our own. Those who don't make an exodus might gladly identify with their background. Either way, our roots often appear in subtle and interesting ways even if we don't intend for it to happen or notice until later.

In this exhibition: "As it turns out, I'm from...," the object is to connect your artwork to your roots. The connection may be as simple as the artist mentioned above from Pittsburgh who makes large steel sculptures. Or it may be a connection more direct like painting place related childhood memories or using found objects from your hometown. The interpretation of the connection is in the hands of the artist. Your "home" can be a city, state, country, culture or even a state of mind. Whatever the connection, the Lander Art Center wants you to discover it and share it with us.


$500 1st Prize
$300 2nd Prize
$200 3rd prize


Deadline for completed entries is Saturday, August 6, 2011. There are 5 items needed to enter, see below. Entry will not be processed without all 5 items.

Notification will be emailed Thursday, August 27, 2011. Please add to you contact list and be sure to write your email address on the entry form.

Accepted artwork is due Saturday, September 3, 2011 at the Lander Art Center, 224 Main St., Lander, WY 82520. Please package your artwork well and write your name on the packaging.

Artwork will be hung the week of September 12-16.

Opening reception is on Friday, September 16, 2011. Mark your calendar!

Show comes down on October 22.

Artwork must be picked up or shipping arranged by artist by November 5.


Please mail images on a cd labeled with your name to Lander Art Center, 224 Main Street, Lander, WY 82520 or email to

1. Up to 3 images (created in the past 3 years)

* Dimensions: 1920 pixels for the largest dimension (the other dimension will be less than or equal to 1920 pixels)

* File Format: Save all images as BASELINE Standard JPEG. Do not save as a Progressive JPEG.

* File Size: JPEGs must be under 1.8 MB.

* Color space: Save images in an RGB color space, preferably sRGB

2. Artist statement

3. Juried-Show Entry Form (download from website or pick up at the front desk)

4. Application fee of $35 (check made to Lander Art Center, paypal payment made to, or credit card # entered on entry form)

5. signed Waiver and Release (download from website or pick up at the front desk)


Convergence conference to tackle "creative economy" and other Wyoming arts & culture issues

The latest issue of the Wyoming Cultural Trust Fund newsletter carried this info about this fall's "Convergence" conference in Cody. More info coming soon...
Many of us regularly hear these words, “Cultural Heritage Tourism” and “Creative Economy”, but what do they really mean in Wyoming and how can we best capitalize on our unique cultural heritage and our amazing capacity for collaboration, to best address the issues and opportunities behind these words? Join your colleagues, counterparts and regional and national speakers as we take a serious look at what we have already accomplished, and where we have yet to go.

Key partners involved in planning this unique gathering include: the Department of State Parks and Cultural Resources, the Wyoming Arts Council, the Wyoming Cultural Trust Fund, the Wyoming Humanities Council, the Wyoming State Library, the University of Wyoming Art Museum and School of Arts and Sciences, the American Heritage Center, and the State Historic Preservation Office. Additional partners including Wyoming Main Street, the Wyoming Business Council and local arts and community organizations throughout the Cody and Powell areas, will all be participating with this event. Additionally, an opportunity for Advocacy training will be offered as a pre-gathering session.

More details on “Convergence” should be available shortly…so be sure to check the websites of the various partners, or the Cultural Trust Fund website, in the next few weeks. And you’ll be hearing more in this e-newsletter as well…
FMI: Wyoming Arts Council at 307-777-7742.

BBHC reports energy-saving gains during EPA "Battle of the Buildings" competition

From a Buffalo Bill Historical Center press release:
Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Energy Star program marked the midpoint of the 2011 National Building Competition “Battle of the Buildings” by releasing a list of the top contenders for each building category as well as the progress of all participants in the competition, each of whom remain in the running through this fall.

The Buffalo Bill Historical Center is one of 245 teams around the country going head-to-head in the competition to see who can reduce their energy use the most. In the first six months of the competition alone, the competitors together have saved more than $3.7 million on utility bills and reduced greenhouse gas emissions equal to the electricity used by 2,300 homes annually.

According to Operating Engineer Phil Anthony, the Center presents some unique challenges. “We are charged with the preservation of our collections, which raises climate control issues not typically faced by mainstream commercial buildings,” says Anthony. “That means not only keeping visitors and staff comfortable during open hours, but also maintaining stable temperature and relative humidity levels for the objects housed in exhibit and storage areas 24 hours a day.”

Despite this challenge, at the midpoint of the competition the EPA calculates that the Center has reduced its energy use by 4.07 percent over the past year, the time frame covered by the competition. “Competitors in the second year of the Energy Star ‘Battle of the Buildings” are already achieving energy-savings that really pack a punch,” says EPA Assistant Administrator for Air and Radiation Gina McCarthy. “The stories behind these savings speak to the dedication of American businesses and organizations to protecting the environment and public health, and to economic common sense.”

Anthony points out that staff has been working diligently to increase energy efficiency since 2002, the year of the last major addition to the structure and several years prior to the period covered by the competition. By reconfiguring and improving air handling systems, improving insulation in critical areas, upgrading lighting system lamps, and changing behaviors as simple as consistently turning off lights during off hours, the Center has reduced energy usage significantly over the past nine years.

The competition includes 26 different types of commercial buildings across 33 states and the District of Columbia. Competitors measure and track their monthly energy consumption, and the building with the largest percentage reduction in energy use, adjusted for weather and building size, will be recognized as the winner in November. The competitors exchange ideas and strategies through various social media applications, including Twitter and Facebook.

Energy Star was started by the EPA in 1992 as a market-based partnership to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through energy efficiency. Today, the Energy Star label can be found on more than 60 different kinds of products as well as new homes and commercial and industrial buildings that meet strict energy-efficiency specifications set by the EPA. Last year alone, Americans saved about $18 billion on their energy bills while preventing greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to the annual emissions of 33 million vehicles.

Information about all competitors, including photos and facts about each along with energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions data, as well as complete midpoint results for all competitors is available at: More information on the Buffalo Bill Historical Center can be found by exploring

Committed to connecting people with the Spirit of the American West, the Buffalo Bill Historical Center weaves the varied threads of the western experience—history and myth, art and Native culture, firearms technology and Yellowstone natural history—into the rich panorama that is the American West. The Center, an Affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, is currently open 8 a.m. – 6 p.m. daily. For general information, visit, or call 307.587.4771.

AVA offers "Beginning Painting with Nancy"

Chris Drury completes UW sculpture


Chris Drury at work on his sculpture Carbon Sink: What Goes Around, Comes Around on the UW campus. 

Finished Chris Drury sculpture at UW. UW Art Museum photos.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Casper College offers night class in digital photography beginning Aug. 23

If you are like most people with a digital camera you have some great photos on your computer that you would like to turn into prints, but just don’t know how. It may be easier than you think, with the help of a digital photography class being offered for the fall semester at Casper College. 

“Electronic Digital Photo” (ELTR 2145 01) will include the basic techniques of digital photography and an overview of what is needed to acquire, store, retouch, and print digital and hybrid photographs.

Miles Hecker, digital photography professional, will teach the class on Tuesday nights from 6 to 9. According to Hecker, students will learn the fundamentals of digital photography, how to make quality prints on their inkjet printer, how to scan their old slides and negatives, and how to master Adobe Photoshop CS skills to create better photos.

For more information or to register, call Casper College at 268-2206. “Electronic Digital Photo” begins on August 23, 2011.

State leaders pose with new state seal on renovated Capitol Plaza

Wyoming politicians and their families were out in force for the first Cheyenne Frontier Days parade on July 23. Posed by the new state seal on the renovated Capitol Plaza are (left to right): U.S. Sen. John Barrasso; First Lady Carol Mead; Mary Mead; Bobbi Barrasso; Gov. Matt Mead; and Pete Mead. Photo by Joe McKee.

Monday, July 25, 2011

The Novelists in concert July 27 at UW

Nevada band The Novelists will perform a free concert from 11:45 a.m.-1 p.m. Wednesday, July 27, at the University of Wyoming Simpson Plaza.
The Novelists are nationally touring singer/songwriters that tell their stories through four-part harmonies and instruments including an upright bass and piano.
"Songwriting is amazing. You are bringing back the honesty of folk," says Gary Soffer from Atlantic Records, A&R Showcase.
For more information and music visit .
The concert series is sponsored by the Campus Activities Center Summer Programs. Individuals needing assistance to attend this event can contact the CAC at 766-6340.
The Novelists will perform a free concert from 11:45 a.m.-1 p.m. Wednesday, July 27, at the University of Wyoming Simpson Plaza.

Gallery 71 art show runs through Aug. 7

Gallery 71 sponsored by the Cheyenne High Schools Class of 1971 is hosting an art show and sale in association with the Deselms Gallery and LightsOn! Downtown. If you're not an artist, you're invited to view the show.

Download a copy of the show catalog:

The class seeks works from artists who are associated or were associated with the Laramie County School District #1 as students or faculty. Participating artists include Georgia Rowswell, Dave Rowswell, Diana Helzer and Sumiko O'Hashi (from the collection of Alan O'Hashi)

If you have questions, please email or call 307-509-0182

Laramie biennial artists weld and draw and sculpt paper

David L. Jones and Diana Baumbach live around the corner from each other in an historic Laramie neighborhood.

But as far as their art is concerned, they may as well live on different planets.

David makes barns and grain silos and working models of oil rigs. His cramped home studio looks more like your grandpa's garage workshop than it does a place for fine art. In one corner sits a massive toolbox. Scattered about the studio are drills and saws and various implements of construction (growing up, David got a new tool each Christmas from Santa). On the walls are photos of abandoned car dealerships and an illustration of an oil refinery. Stacked against the wall are pieces of a hand-made set for a Hollywood western that will someday serve as both an art installation and a set for a film.

Over at Diana's spacious campus studio, she pokes holes in paper with a tiny pin. Lots and lots of tiny holes, over and over again. She works with paper and designs delicate sculptures and wall hangings. She just returned from Holland where she install an exhibit of her work that had been scaled down to fit the space.

Diana's husband, Shelby Shadwell, is another Laramie artist who will be featured in the fellowship biennial which opens Nov. 4 in Jackson. He was out of town during our July 21 swing through Laramie. He had just finished a residency at The Center for Land Use Interpretation in Wendover, Utah. He and University of Wyoming Art Department colleagues David Jones and Patrick Kikut spent several weeks working on projects inspired by the desert heat and the nearby remains of a Cold War Air Force base that includes the hanger that housed the Enola Gay, the plane that dropped the first atomic bomb.

According to Diana, Shelby grew up in the Midwest and had never seen mountains before arriving in Wyoming. That may be one of the reasons why his "Low Pressure" drawings are based on WYDOT winter web cam views of locations along I-80. Some of his WAC fellowship-winning entries, "Economy," feature drawings of truck traffic along I-80. Snow and ice and careless drivers help make the interstate stretch from Laramie to Rawlins the most-often closed section of highway in the country. Laramie is the perfect perch to watch this drama unfold.

Shelby's latest work is featured in an exhibit in the 222 Shelby Street Gallery in Santa Fe, N.M.

Photos (top to bottom):
1. David Jones (left), a 2010 WAC visual arts fellowship recipient, tells Nancy Bowen about his art installations that include barns and silos (shown on ground).
2. Diana Baumbach, an honorable mention in the 2010 WAC visual arts fellowship competition, shows her work on paper to fellowship curator Nancy Bowen.
3. "Divider," by Diana Baumbach
4. "Economy" by Shelby Shadwell, Charcoal, pastel, graphite on paper on panel, 22"x15"

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Artist and nurse-midwife Penelope Caldwell births new work in her mountain studio

It's no surprise to see a sculpture of a woman giving birth in the studio of an artist who also is a nurse-midwife.

The wax figure is a little larger than life. She is naked, on all fours, long hair hanging over her face, back arched, tiny face jutting from the birth canal. You can see the effort that it takes to push new life out into the world.

"That's me," says Penelope Caldwell.

Penelope and Jim Caldwell have two grown children. The scene depicted in the sculpture happened several decades ago. But as the two of them survey the sculpture, Wyomingarts gets the impression that it seems like only yesterday.

It's Thursday and we're at Penelope's rural Albany County studio, just north of Wood's Landing, to select art for the upcoming fellowship biennial. As is the case with many Wyoming artists, Penelope sculpts and paints big. Jim, too, is an artist but teaches computer science at the University of Wyoming about 25 miles up the road. He's a hunter -- skulls of deer he shot hang on the front wall. He spends his spare time exploring the local landscape of sage-covered hills that rise up into wooded, rocky slopes.

Penelope shows biennial curator Nancy Bowen some of the paintings she submitted for the 2010 fellowship competition. They are large nudes, such as "Mail Order Brides Come with Baggage." The painting hangs just off the house's spacious, light-filled great room. It shows a woman flanked by two large dogs. In the guest bedroom, a pregnant and very sad black woman reclines on a cot. The painting reflects Penelope's experiences at birthing centers in Nicaragua and Honduras, places where women are treated more like cows than human beings. The artist will be heading off to Honduras again in November.

Another big painting hangs in the hallway leading to the studio. This one shows two handsome nude black men. Penelope knew the subjects in San Francisco, but that's all that she will say. Very mysterious.

But when it comes to her portraits of an elderly gentleman, she opens up. They are of her father, a military veteran, a learned man who spoke seven languages but one who had a difficult life. One of the portraits shows him sitting naked and forlorn, black shoes his only adornment. In another, he is shown standing, wearing a military greatcoat complete with medals. He walks with a cane. He wears the same spit-shined shoes with drooping socks.

Wyomingarts thinks, "There's a story here." Wyomingarts thinks that about all of the paintings.

Photos (top to bottom):
1. Biennial curator Nancy Bowen (left) interviews artist Penelope Caldwell about her work. At right is part
of Penelope's self-portrait wax sculpture of her giving birth.
2. Nancy Bowen and Penelope Caldwell discuss some of the artist's newest paintings.
3. Penelope Caldwell, "Mail Order Brides Come with Baggage," oil on paper, 90"x52"

Friday, July 22, 2011

Adrienne Vetter shoots for realistic and fanciful views of Wyoming

Adrienne Vetter is Wyoming born and raised. She went from Fremont County schools to Western Wyoming Community College in Rock Springs to the University of Wyoming in Laramie to the graduate art program at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.

Wyoming? Isn't that some far-off place where the deer and the antelope play, a mythical land of Hollywood shoot-em-ups and cowboys and Indians?

Not real, right?

At least that seemed to be the view of her fellow students, most from urban places of the East.

In her grad school art pursuits, Adrienne tried to portray the complicated and strange and wonderful place of her youth.

Now back in Wyoming, Adrienne continues her mission. She was named one of three winners of a 2011 WAC visual arts fellowship. The fellowship judges liked the scope of her work, the vision and ambition she brought to it. A sampling of her work will be part of the 2011 WAC fellowship biennial Nov. 4-Dec. 30 at the Center for the Arts in Jackson.

Until recently, she was program manager for Wyoming Kids First on the Wind River Indian Reservation. She is collaborating with Native artist Colleen Friday on at least one project and there may be more. Her interests include "social class, cross-cultural organizing, autobiography and rural culture."

Adrienne has exhibited some large installations, including a mock-up of a small-town laundromat at the UW Art Museum and an inflatable camper trailer. When exhibited, the trailer, complete with hitch and fake propane tank, was hooked to headphones. When visitors to the installation picked up the headphones, that triggered an audio of Adrienne telling a story of her time living in her father's small trailer while he worked construction in Sweetwater County. As the story played, a pump inflated the trailer. Both the narrative and the trailer finished at the same time. When the visitor put the headphones back on the hook, the installation deflated.

Adrienne now has a trailer of her own, a vintage Airstream, which she plans on using as kind of a portable artist's studio now that her job on the Reservation has ended.
Have art (trailer), will travel.

Photos (top to bottom):
1. "ClassiFICTIONs," multimedia installation by Adrienne Vetter
2. "Camperwagon," digital image
3. "(Not) Mutally Exclusive" by Adrienne Vetter. Cowboys vs. Indians and vice versa.

Creativity bustin' out all over in Sublette County

Pinedale's past stretches way back into epic tectonic shifts and volcanoes, fire and brimstone, water and wind.

Native Americans arrived eons later. Then came the mountain men, celebrated in the town's history museum. Settlers and hunters and coal-bed methane drillers. Artists, too.

Pinedale's art history doesn't stretch as far back as the geological uplifts that made the mountains. But there are local petroglyphs etched by Native Americans, and people still find carefully crafted arrowheads made by Native artisans. And, while the Green River Rendezvous was undoubtedly dominated by fur-trading and partying, it also featured music and swapping of handmade goods and the occasional illustrator attempting to limn the proceedings on paper or canvas.

Artists may bring some tectonic shifts to the Pinedale of the future. Lest you think that's about as likely as winter ozone pollution alerts in this formerly sleepy hunting/fishing/logging town, well, think again. The energy boom led to winter ozone alerts. Not exactly what you want your town to be known for. But with growth comes change and some of that ain't so bad.

The Pinedale Fine Arts Council has long been a model to other local arts councils in the state and the region. The PFAC traces its beginnings to 1976 when local teacher Arlinda McLaughlin thought it would be a great idea to bring the Utah Symphony to tiny Pinedale. The town has always thought big when it comes to the arts, and the tradition continues with Jo Crandall and board and Dana Tully and staff and many volunteers.

The new library here and the new branch in neighboring Big Piney features sculpture and artwork by locals. Sublette County Library board member Cat Urbigkit is proud of the Pinedale library and is urging a strong arts presence at the Big Piney facility. Cat is a county sheep rancher but it best known for her children's books and photography. She was signing her books recently at the National Library Association conference in New Orleans. Her photography has been featured at the Governor's Capitol Art Exhibition in Cheyenne.

In April 2012, Pinedale will be the site of a statewide visual arts symposium. Local artists spearheaded this effort through its local Pipeline Art Project. Co-sponsors include the Wyoming Arts Council and the University of Wyoming Art Museum.

Wildlife artist Tucker Smith lives on the western edge of the county near Cora. His work is featured in Jackson's National Museum of Wildlife Art and is museums and galleries all over the world. He's the recipient of a Wyoming Governor's Arts Award. Also residing in the wilds near Cora are novelist and essayist Gretel Ehrlich and singer/songwriter Miss "V" the Gypsy Cowbelle, a performer who cans her own elk meat, makes her own banjos and recently had a bit part in a Robert Redford film.

Andy Nelson is a cowboy poet and humorist from Pinedale. He's performed at the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Elko, Nevada, and at the annual Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Colorado.

Local metal artist JB Bond just bought a beat-up old tractor and plans to transform it into a nine-foot-long machine gun. An ironic reversal on the old "swords into plowshares" verse.

JB is pitching in on Pinedale's new public art program, headed up by artist David Klaren (see previous blog entry). Also part of that local effort is longtime resident Sue Sommers. Sue and her husband ranch west of town. Artist and building contractor David Klaren built Sue's studio, an addition to the couple's ranch house. Her light-filled studio overlooks the Green River Valley where Native Americans camped and hunted for generations.

Sue also paints acrylic landscapes on canvas and paper. Her latest series is called "Remembered Color," acrylic paintings that are more abstract than most of her work. She earns part of her living as a graphic designer, so it's not surprising that she also works in the book arts.

Sue's paintings earned an honorable mention in the 2010 Wyoming Arts Council visual arts fellowships. She displayed those paintings during a Wednesday visit by Wyomingarts and biennial fellowship curator Nancy Bowen. These watercolor portraits are part of Sue's "Children Looking Back" series. She transformed childhood photos into paintings, filtering them through the artistic lens of 40-some years.

Back in the day, Sue and several other local artistic rowdies conducted a unique project that involved painting words on real cows and recording the random poetry that resulted. Caused quite a stir at the time, with some people wondering if this was a good use of time and energy and state public art money (it wasn't a state-funded art project but that fact got lost in the hubbub). Sue has settled down a bit since then. That doesn't make her work any less startling. Go to her web site to take a look. Better yet, come to the WAC fellowship biennial show Nov. 4 and see it in person.

Photos (top to bottom):
1. Sue Sommers at her Sublette County studio. She holds one of her watercolor portraits from the Children Looking Back" series: "Class Photo 1968: Deborah," 40 x 26 inches.
2. In Sue's studio: "Crabapple 1010" (on left), acrylic on canvas, 36 x 36 inches; “Inappropriate 1960," watercolor, 26 x 20 inches.
3. Wyoming summer morning sun streaks in Sue's studio windows for art-making and tomato-growing.

David Klaren is living large with his dynamic drawings

David Klaren's Dire Wolf Studios is in a spacious old warehouse in Pinedale. His large drawings of dragon flies and mud crabs and pine cones and skeletal horses occupy almost every inch of wall space in the two-story building. His pen-and-ink drawings are spread out across a table. On the shelves are various fish sculptures awaiting completion. Lots of work to choose from for Wyoming Arts Council's fellowship biennial exhibit.

In his other life, David drives a truck for a drilling crew and installs floors and builds home additions and heads up Pinedale's nascent public arts program. Evidence of his construction background is evident in his two-story studio. He put in the windows and walls and floors. Stacked beneath his drawing are new wooden floors awaiting installation in the studio and at a customer's house.

He knows his materials, and can get them to do what he wants most of the time. Some drawings don't pan out. He started an ink drawing of a topographical map of Crowheart Butte and it turned out looking a bit like a Halloween decoration -- all black and white and frenetic lines. He gave it some thought and is working on a series of 3-D topo map drawings in which Crowheart Butte rises out of the paper in all of its topographical glory. Still a work in progress.

David has had exhibits all over the region, including shows in Colorado, Idaho and Nebraska. His work has been featured at the Governor's Capital Art Exhibition in Cheyenne. For the past two years, David and some of his fellow Wyoming artists have trooped to Art Basel in Miami Beach to discover ways to market their work internationally.

After the studio visit, we trooped over the the Sublette County Public Library. David showed us the fish exhibit. Fish a Titlist golf ball (complete with golf tee). Fish made from thousands of sunflower seeds. About a half-dozen of David's fish sculptures swim through the library. A very popular addition, especially with the kids.

Both the fish and the sculpture remain a big part of David's life. He was born in the old whaling town of New Bedford, Mass., but grew up in high and dry Pinedale, where trout fishing is king in the surrounding mountains. He attended one of the top sculpture programs in the U.S. at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Va.

But these days, it always comes back to the drawings. A selection of them will be on display at the fellowship biennial show when it opens Nov. 4 at the Center for the Arts in Jackson.

Photos (top to bottom):
1. David Klaren and "Mud Crab," graphite on  Arches cover,  53x72 inches
2. "Black Iraq," ink on vellum, 24x18 inches
3. David Klaren shows his ink drawings to WAC fellowship biennial curator Nancy Bowen.
4. The fish sculpture section of David's Pinedale studio

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Aug. 9 Author Talk at Teton County Library features Fadiman and Colt

Author Talk: Anne Fadiman and George Howe Colt 7-8 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 9, at the Teton County Public Library in Jackson. Anne Fadiman, author of "The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down," and her husband, George Howe Colt, author of "The Big House," read from two new works, exploring the challenges of family relationships. Fadiman's reading is about fathers and sons: the tragic relationship between the poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge and his elder son and the difficulties of growing up with a famous parent. Colt's reading is about brothers: the great nature writer Henry David Thoreau's loving bond with his older brother and the heartbreak of losing him. Location: Ordway Auditorium. Free. Education and Program Manager, Dimmie Zeigler, 733-2164 ext. 229,